Catching Them Up

If anyone knows me personally, then you know that I love my family. Most of the elders in my family like my grandparents and great aunts and uncles are so behind in technology. Most of them own smart phones and computers capable to communicate with the entire world but they hardly know how to use it besides making a phone call or checking and sending emails.

My great Aunt Dovie is slowly but surely becoming an exception. She is now leaving the dark ages and is learning how to navigate a very mature form of social media in the area of text messaging. She even sent me a text message the other day just to show me that she’s trying.

Talking with Auntie D.J. (as I call her) about becoming more tech savvy and how it’s the way of the world now, she is mostly receptive to what I have to say. But she does express difficulty in understanding the language.

Text messaging and social media has a language of its own. A lot of acronyms are involved in messages and posts. I can remember her one day out of sheer frustration Auntie D.J. asked me, “What the heck does “LOL” and “OMG” mean? People keep saying that to me!” I then tried to explain to her that the best way I knew how that social media has a different lingo that she’s was going to have to learn.

For someone who has been out of school as long as she has, learning a new language is something she did not plan in her late 50s. So what did I do? I took to social media to help us out! I googled social media acronyms and printed out a translation list for my aunt. I got it from a fellow WordPress pal, Digiphile.

I wrote this blog because as we are millennials we learn fast and move with the technology and that is great. But I don’t want us to forget to educate those who once were educating us, OUR ELDERS.

-Orlando P. Bailey

TEDxEMU & Social Media

   Before the TEDx event here at EMU, I have never heard of a TED Talk. I had no clue what it was and who did the talking! I was asked to participate at the TEDx event at EMU. The “x” means independently organized which is different from the international TED conferences held all over the world.

The slogan for TED is “ideas worth spreading”. At the main international conferences, thought leaders in different careers and fields of study share ideas and insight into their various lives and fields. The same is true for the independently organized TED conferences all over the world. TEDx here at EMU featured faculty, students and alumni who are considered innovative and effective thought leaders at EMU and their perspective communities. These people are from all walks of life with different ideas that were communicated through talks, presentations, singing, playing instruments and storytelling. Here is an example. Take a look at the video!

Once the curator Gregg Constanzo decided that he wanted to host a TEDx event at EMU, he took to the most popular forms of social media to publicize, inform, announce speakers and give people a chance to see the conference live! Constanzo and his team effectively intertwined all of the social media sites they chose to employ to get out one comprehensive message after another.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and a website all played parts to getting people to register for the conference, to present and watch the live feed as the conference went on. On each of the social media pages, the verbiage was the same in that it was promoting ONE MESSAGE! Using these sites allowed TEDxEMU team to share photos, reach out to the speakers and give  minute by minute updates as the conference was happening live.

The reason I say social media was used effectively is because I barely saw any flyers and signs around the campus of EMU of the event coming. It was really driven by social media. Folks who wanted to come had to register online by a specific date. The event was really popular because there was a waiting list a mile long.

One thing I loved about the status updates, tweets, etc is that it really embodied the slogan, “ideas worth sharing”. On any given day, you can look at the TEDxEMU facebook or twitter page and receive a tip or idea on the most random things from how to wash out a stain on a shirt, to how to be an effective leader in the workplace.

To be effective online, I learned that consistency and engagement is key. TedxEMU did both and packed out the house at Sponberg Theatre on EMU’s campus. It did not stop after the event; the staff is still sharing ideas and communicating with their audience. Way to humanize a brand! I’m glad I got to be a part of it!

 

-Orlando P. Bailey

A Retrospective Look

   I wake up in the morning and I lay in the bed for 20 to 30 minutes until I feel energized to go about my day. While I’m in the bed, I carefully think out what I’m going to wear for the day. I get my clothes ready based on how I’m feeling that day. I pick out the shoe that will best match my ensemble, jewelry and the cologne I feel will best compliment the personality of clothing. I get my shower and put on everything that I have set out. Before I leave my apartment, I take a full length look in the mirror to if I looked how I dreamed in my mind I would look. If I don’t like it, I’ll change and if I do, then my day has officially started.

I’m not just telling you my morning routine to be vain but to draw a parallel to what Brian Solis was speaking of in chapter 12 of his bookEngage!; The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. In chapter 12, Solis basically tells us to take a retrospective look at our brands to see if the outfitting of it is just right. He gives us specific instructions on how to do so.

Solis states that “identity and branded personalities are often an afterthought”. (Solis 2011)  Like me before I get out the bed, I gather my thoughts and what I’m going to wear first. I’m not going to put on my clothes and get ready only to find out when I look in the mirror that this specific combination doesn’t work. Solis tells us to sit down and brainstorm first before we even create any profile on any social media site.

The reason why everything should be thought out is because “at a minimum, profiles and bios serve as brand beacons to position and reinforce the company, brand, value proposition, and mission”. (Solis 2011) These profiles serve as the voice of the company and its brand. Careful planning and strategic tactics must be employed before making an effective social media footprint.

To get it right, Solis gives us his Brand Reflection Cycle; Establishing Online Identity + Persona Through Introspection. In the reflection cycle there are 8 discovery questions each brand and company must ask themselves:

1 What are the brand’s pillars?

2 What are the brand’s promises?

3 What are the aspirations?

4 What are the characteristics?

5 What opportunities?

6 What is the brand’s culture?

7 What is the personality of the brand?

8 What are the Core Values of the brand? (Solis 2011)

Solis says that at the epicenter of the cycle are core values. “They must be consistent in defining our brand persona in the Social Web”. (Solis 2011) As always I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and learned so much from it. One thing that I love most about the book is that I can take what I’m learning and directly apply to everything that I am connected with!

 

-Orlando P. Bailey